SeaWorld Orlando is a theme park and marine zoological park, in Orlando, Florida. It is owned and operated by SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment. When combined with its neighbor Discovery Cove and Aquatica, it forms SeaWorld Parks and Resorts Orlando, an entertainment complex consisting of the three parks and many hotels. In 2018, SeaWorld Orlando hosted an estimated 4.594 million guests, ranking it the 10th most visited amusement park in the United States.
|Slogan||See it Here. Save it There.|
|Location||7007 SeaWorld Drive, Orlando, Florida, United States|
|Theme||Conservation and the Ocean|
|Owner||SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment|
|Opened||December 15, 1973|
|Previous names||Sea World of Florida|
|Visitors per annum||4.594 million (2018)|
|Area||200 acres (81 ha)|
|Shows||5 with 6 seasonal|
SeaWorld Orlando opened on December 15, 1973 as the third of the chain and just 2 years after Walt Disney World Resort's Magic Kingdom. This made Central Florida a multi-park vacation destination. SeaWorld was sold in 1976 to Harcourt Brace Jovanovich then to Anheuser-Busch, owners of Busch Gardens, in 1989.
Busch was more experienced with theme parks thus developed SeaWorld in a competitive and aggressive manner moving the park from a show based to a ride based park. The park joined in the Disneyland-started simulator ride wave in 1987 with Mission: Bermuda Triangle (later rethemed into Wild Arctic). The nation's first combination roller coaster and flume ride, Journey to Atlantis, was installed in 1997. In 2000, the Kraken, a Bolliger & Mabillard floorless roller coaster, was added to the park. The flying coaster, Manta, came to the park in 2009 and won Theme Park Insider Award as the best new attraction.
SeaWorld Orlando contains two sister parks. Discovery Cove opened in 2000 followed by water park Aquatica in 2008. The 2008 purchase of Anheuser-Busch by Belgian brewer InBev led to the sale of Busch's parks to a private equity firm in 2009.
On February 24, 2010, during a small show at "Dine with Shamu", one of the orca whales, Tilikum, pulled trainer Dawn Brancheau into the water and ultimately killed her. An autopsy determined that Brancheau's death was attributed to blunt force trauma and drowning; injuries included her scalp being removed and her left arm being severed below the shoulder. In August 2010, the United States Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited SeaWorld of Florida LLC for three safety violations, following the death of an animal trainer in February. The total penalty was $75,000 and SeaWorld was initially required to keep a barrier between its trainers and the whales during shows.
Its TurtleTrek exhibit opened in 2012 included a 360-degree, 3D dome theater for a movie. In 2013, its Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin pavilion had the nation's first trackless dark ride system.
On June 1, 2019, a new roller coaster (later revealed as Ice Breaker) was announced through a teaser video released by SeaWorld Orlando. Details remain unclear but it is described as taking riders "to predatory heights" and experiencing "plunging thrills", while hinting at an arctic theme for the roller coaster. It is expected to open in 2020.
In mid-March 2020, in line with other Sea World parks, as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the park had to temporarily shut down. But the park reopened nearly three months later.
Transport in SeaWorld Orlando
In summer 2014, as a part of the company's 50th anniversary, SeaWorld Orlando was separated into different areas, called "seas". Each with a unique themed element. Starting at the lower center and continuing clockwise they are:
- Port of Entry: The main entrance of the park features a Florida-inspired theme with tropical landscaping and a large artificial freshwater marina with a Shamu-themed iconic lighthouse.
- Sea of Shallows: This area showcases most of the shallow water sea animal exhibits at the park as well as the Dolphin Theater. In addition, the Manta rollercoaster travels through this section and Turtle Trek, a dome theater show also reside here. All of the Key West at SeaWorld area is inside of the Sea of Shallows. It is designed to mimic the appearance of the city of Key West, Florida with architecture and landscaping reminiscent of the area. Animal exhibits in this portion of the park include cownose rays, southern stingrays, green sea turtles, hawksbill sea turtle, loggerhead sea turtle, Atlantic bottlenose dolphins, greater flamingos, West Indian manatees, American alligators and brown pelicans. The stingray and dolphin habitats offer opportunities for guests to feed the animals.
- Sea of Legends: Journey to Atlantis, a boat ride with roller-coaster elements, bases its story from the legend of the lost city of Atlantis. Also found here is Kraken, a floorless roller-coaster.
- Sea of Ice: Sea of Ice, originally named Antarctica, is themed around the Antarctic continent. Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin is the sole attraction in this area. The ride exits into the penguin exhibit area.
- Sea of Delight: Sea of Delight includes a sub-area named The Waterfront, which resembles a seaside Mediterranean village. The park's Sky Tower ride is also here, it was integrated into the theme of The Waterfront village when the area opened in 2003. The only land animal show at the park, Pets Ahoy, is located here inside of the Seaport Theater. Outside of the Waterfront is where the Sea Lion and Otter Stadium viewing area stands.
- Sea of Mystery: The Sea of Mystery houses the Shark Encounter exhibit and the Shark's Underwater Grill, as well as the Nautilus Theater, which is currently used for seasonal shows and events. It also includes the Sea Garden, a landscaped area with themed structures that are made from trash found on beaches. Mako, a Bolliger & Mabillard steel hypercoaster opened in the area on June 10, 2016, The current shark exhibit and the surrounding area has been renovated to become Shark Wreck Reef.
- Sea of Power: Sea of Power is host area of the SeaWorld's killer whale shows. The Shamu Stadium is located in the center with the Wild Arctic indoor pavilion nextdoor. Wild Arctic is a combined attraction which includes a motion simulator followed by an indoor animal exhibit hosting beluga whales, Pacific walrus, harbor seals and formerly polar bears. Shamu Stadium currently hosts "One Ocean" as its main show with "Shamu Celebration: Light up the Night" and "Shamu Christmas Miracles" showing seasonally.
- Sesame Street Land: Formerly Shamu's Happy Harbor and Sea of Fun, Sesame Street Land is a children's area located adjacent to Shamu Stadium and features family activities including Super Grover's Box Car Derby (a junior rollercoaster) and a water play area. It is the only area within SeaWorld Orlando to be based on the educational television program, Sesame Street.
SeaWorld Orlando has many live shows and attractions including rides and animal exhibits. Many of these attractions, such as Manta and Wild Arctic, combine the two, with both animal exhibits and a ride.
Rides and attractionsEdit
|1||Mako||2016||A hypercoaster named after the fastest species of shark in the oceans. Is currently the tallest and fastest roller coaster in the Orlando area.|
|2||Kraken||2000||A floorless roller coaster themed after the legend of the Kraken sea monster.|
|3||Manta||2009||A flying roller coaster and aquarium exhibit featuring rays, sea dragons and other species.|
|3||Ice Breaker||2020||A quadruple launch family thrill roller coaster featuring the steepest drop of any roller coaster in Florida.|
|4||Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin||2013||A themed area headlined by a motion-based trackless dark ride featuring live penguin and alcid exhibits.|
|5||Journey to Atlantis||1998||A water coaster with dark ride elements themed to the mythical Atlantis.|
|6||Infinity Falls||2018||A river rapids ride that features a vertical elevator lift and the world's tallest river rapids drop.|
|7||Super Grover's Box Car Derby||2019||A Zierer family coaster.|
|8||Sky Tower||1973||400-foot tall rotating Gyro tower.|
|9||Wild Arctic||1995||An indoor series of exhibits featuring beluga whales, walruses and harbor seals that is designed to resemble a research station in the Arctic Ocean. Guests can take a motion-simulated helicopter journey to the exhibit, or may bypass the ride and watch the film without the motion and proceed directly to the animal exhibits.|
|10||Turtle Trek||2012||An outdoor/indoor exhibit featuring sea turtles, West Indian manatees and American alligators. The highlight of the exhibit is a theater dome where a 3D computer-animated film details the average journey of a sea turtle. The theater is a 360° dome with 3D content completely surrounded the audience.|
|11||Sea Carousel||2007||A carousel themed with caricatured marine mammals and fish.|
|12||Elmo's Choo Choo Train||2019||A short train ride themed to Elmo from Sesame Street.|
|13||Big Bird's Twirl 'N' Whirl||2019||A spinning ride themed to Big Bird from Sesame Street.|
|14||Flamingo Paddle Boats||1978||Boats that can travel all around the park's central lake. Additional fee is required.|
Live entertainment and animal presentationsEdit
|17||Shamu Stadium||1984||The 7,000,000 US gallons (26,000,000 l) home to the park's five killer whales opened in September 1984. The park's current production is One Ocean, which is joined by the seasonal Shamu's Celebration: Light Up The Night and Shamu Christmas Miracles night shows. An educational presentation called Ocean Discovery also shows on select dates. It was also home to Wheel of Fortune at SeaWorld back in late 2008.|
|18||Dolphin Theater||1973||The 2,000,000 US gallons (7,600,000 l) former Shamu Stadium, Dolphin Stadium, which used to have an acrobatic show with dolphins, false killer whales, macaws and a condor called by the name of "Blue Horizons" until 2017 when it was replaced by another show. And current Dolphin Theater features dolphins, macaws, a marabou stork and formerly an Andean condor in Dolphin Days, False killer whales were once part of the Theater until the eventual death of the park's two specimens. Three rescued pilot whales were also housed here and seen occasionally during the preshow (about 15-20 mins before the show) or sometimes during the show itself until they were moved to Shamu Stadium on April 28, 2017 due to space, On September 16, 2019 the 3 pilot whales were transferred to SeaWorld San Diego.|
|19||The Sea Lion and Otter Theater||1990||Hosts "Clyde and Seamore," a pair of California sea lions in the presentation Clyde and Seamore's Sea Lion High. Asian small-clawed otters and a Walrus also partake in the show. This production is joined by the seasonal show Sea Lions Tonite.|
|20||Bayside Stadium||1983||Formerly hosted water skiing shows on the park's central lagoon. Today, the stage is used for SeaWorld's numerous music concert series and other special events as well as the official viewing area for the seasonal "Electric Ocean" fireworks and dance party.|
|21||The Nautilus Theatre||1995||This used to be home to an acrobatic show similar in style and presentation to the works of Cirque du Soleil which closed in 2014. This is now used for a bubble show named "Pop" during the summer, and a show called "O Wondrous Night" during the winter. And it is used for concerts and special events.|
|22||Seaport Theatre||1998||Features animals that have been rescued from local animal shelters in Pets Ahoy. This venue is also home to Abby's Treasure Hunt and many seasonal "Sesame Street" shows.|
|23||Seafire Grill||2001||Is both a restaurant and a theatre in the style of a dinner theatre. This venue was home to the Makahiki Luau until its closure in 2010.|
|24||Reflections||2006||A seasonal firework show on the park's central lagoon featuring fireworks, dancing fountains, and mist screens synchronized and inspired by the musical soundtracks of the park's shows and attractions. The show was formerly called Mistify. During the Holidays, there is a Holiday Reflections which closed in 2016 to make way for a new event called "Electric Ocean".|
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